50 years ago today!

I clearly remember stepping off a C-141 with a mix group of Seabees, sailors and army personal on this date in 1970 in Danang, South Vietnam.It was a clear and warm day and there was a definite smell. I reported to the Army liason officer and was directed to watch a movie about VD. I meet a very friendly Air Force officer and we both went to the BOQ for our rooms. I declined an invitation to visit the city. I was really gung-ho and spent the next three days immersed with topographical maps of the area I was about to be sent to. I also had a crash course in Basic Laotian Language skills and the next thing I knew,I was in a C-123 landing at a remoted airfield in the extreme North Western part of SV. I spent 13 months as a bush pilot flying mostly a O-1 Bird Dog. I never saw any Platoon or Rambo combat and I spent 90% of time either in the air or waiting for a break in the weather. I had some real bad experiences like getting lost over enemy territory in IFR conditions. Another time I forgot my Tiny Bladder extender and had to urinate in my canteen while I had the airplane is slow flight. Another time I had to land on a grass strip at night with two toilet rolls soaked in kerosene on fire as ground markers.
I did have one best friend. My M-16 rifle. I hardly went anywhere with out it.

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It would be very nice if politicians don’t get our boys involved in anymore senseless missions like that again. Glad you’re one who made it home.

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At least you kept your cool when you got lost and had nothing to rely on. I can’t say that I would be collected about that. I’d probably be in drooling idiot panic. Glad that you made it home safe.

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Why did you have to land on a grass strip?

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Even though the situation was far from ideal, I bet Vietnam was a beautiful country to fly around over. Thanks for sharing your stories I always like hearing how things really went down instead of watching some ridiculous dramatization in the movies.

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That was my orders to land and pick up a passenger.

Yes I kept my cool, and I was flying VFR on top and had to rely on dead reckoning and celestial navigation. It was my descent through the endless rain that was scary, I was lost and only by miracle did I receive a radar message that I was over the strip. That was pure good luck!

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My first trip to Laos’s stunned me. As far as you could see. there was nothing but deep bomb craters filled with water. It was an obvious B-52 carpet bomb strike. It would have been impossible to land and I was of the opinion that earth worms could not have survived that attack.

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You are correct in that. Even earthworms and cockroaches didn’t survive a B 52 run or a sweep by Puff.

Damn - so your job was to fly a little plane into remote locations in a war zone and pick people up? That’s nuts man.

yeethoven…the entire war was nuts!

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'70 - '71 - US Army - 511 days in hell,…Central Highlands,…enough said.

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Fifty years ago today I was 7 years old watching the daily reports on the news and worrying my dad would be called back to active duty to go to Vietnam.

Thanks for the reminder.

Oscar? …

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One of the coolest planes ever! I got to fly one for a couple of hours one time and instantly fell in love with it.

Truthfully though I was in love with them the first time I saw them work, getting some stick time was just a 2 hour orgasm! :grinning:

OP

Did you love the smell of napalm in the morning? :neutral_face:

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I cannot remember how many hours I logged flying the O-2 Cessna Sky Master.

That was my first guess when you described your missions.

My hat is off to you. I worked with Vietnam era FARCS and CSAR guys quite a bit early in my career.

You were a brave person!

Not really, it was just part of the job. Sometimes they called us to get high value assets to a safe extraction point. It was a blast.

That reminded me of the Full Metal Jacket quote :slight_smile:

I wanted to see exotic Vietnam… the crown jewel of Southeast Asia. I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture… and kill them. I wanted to be the first kid on my block to get a confirmed kill!

Private Joker

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